Data Processing Exam Lessons

Program Development

Definition of a Program

A computer program can be defined as a list of instruction issued to the computer to perform a particular task. Programs are written in computer programming languages.

Characteristics of a good program

Every good program must have the following characteristics:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Readability
  3. Maintainability
  4. Efficiency
  5. Generality
  6. Clarity
  7. Reliability
  1. Accuracy: every good program must be error free.
  2. Readability: the program should be easy for any programmer to read and understand.
  3. Maintainability: a careful written program should be very easy to amend and maintain if need be.
  4. Efficiency:  Should have the ability to solve a particular problem skillfully.
  5. Generality: should be able to solve all similar problems.
  6. Clarity: should be straight forward and easy to understand.
  7. Reliability: should be depended upon at all times.


Do not rush. Be careful, stable and patient when writing programs.

No step should be skipped.

The order of execution must be followed sequentially.

Steps in Program Development

Problem definition: the programmer is expected first of all to understand the problem and know exactly what the problem entails. The definition of the problem must be unambiguous.

Problem analysis: The programmer is expected to analyze the problem to determine how it will be solved, the required inputs and output

Planning the solution: before a program is written, the algorithm or flowchart for that program must be drawn and tested before the actual coding of the program and this is called dry running a program. The flowchart therefore, is a diagrammatical representation of the steps involved in writing a given program.

Program coding: This is the actual writing or coding of the program in a particular programming language e.g. BASIC, VBASIC, FORTRAN, Pascal, COBOL and so on.

Disk checking: This is used to check or verify that the design represents a correct solution to a problem and it is very important to follow through the design using suitable test data.

Problem compilation: when the coding process is completed, the program will be compiled if it is necessary. It is necessary to compile if the programming language allows it.

Program testing: this is similar to proofreading. The written program is tested and errors corrected to check the program is able to solve the problem it is expected to solve

Program documentation: this involves writing a detailed description about the program and some specific facts pertaining to the usage and maintenance of the program.

Program running: this is the actual running or execution of the program with the compiler or interpreter so as to check if the desired output is generated.


It is the process of updating or amending previously written program for current use.

Reading Assignment: Reading Assignment:

Hiit @ School, Computer Studies for Senior Secondary Education. Pgs 106 – 107.



  1. The actual writing or coding of program in a particular programming language is known as_________
  2. Debugging      b. Program Coding     c. Program Executing             d. Program Decoding
  • The following are characteristics of a good program EXCEPT one.
  1. Accuracy         b. Clarity         c. Compatible              d. Readability
  • The following are characteristic of an interpreter EXCEPT one

a. Execution is fast           b. The resulting code is some sort of intermediate code        c. The resulting code is interpreted by another program    d. relatively little time is spent analyzing and processing the program

  • _________ is a list of instruction issued to the computer to perform a particular task.
  1. Algorithm        b. Computer program    c. Hardware     d. Peripherals
  • One of the following is NOT a precaution be taken when writing a program.
  1. No step should be skipped         b. The order of execution must be followed sequentially c. Do not rush               d. The use of a step by step approach should not be followed


  1. Define a program
  2. State four characteristics of a program
  3. List the steps involved in program development
  4. State two precautions to be taken when writing a program.